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Spend a full academic year of high school in Denmark. Attend a local high school and live with a welcoming host family. Explore Denmark’s fairy-tale villages, complete with picturesque castles and colorful town markets. Between your time with your host family and at school, you’ll get the chance to learn Danish though the Danes are, by and large, excellent English speakers. They’ll also be very impressed if you already know a few words in Danish!

Things to know about Denmark

Bicycles are everywhere; they even have bicycle highways! Danes value their personal space but are very warm once they open up and they love to be cozy and comfortable. The most popular Danish lunch is a traditional open-faced sandwich, called smorrebrod. Nowhere in Denmark is more than an hour away from the seashore, so it’s a perfect place for those who like to go swimming, sailing, or rowing.

What's included in your experience

  • 70 Years Experience


Graduates Eligible? Yes, high school graduates are eligible to participate.
Minimum GPA 2.5
Age Range
15yrs, 6 months
18yrs, 0 months at start of program
Language Skills No language requirement
COVID-19 Vaccine Recommended, not required*
*AFS cannot predict and is not responsible for changes to host school or government health requirements which may change from the time of application and could impact program eligibility

Your Journey to Denmark

In the months before your departure, AFSers have the opportunity to participate in various preparatory activities, including an online Student Learning Journey, which is an interactive course that brings AFSers from around the world together to learn how to develop essential global skills, intercultural communication techniques, and practice social impact, maximizing the outcomes of the AFS learning experience. 

AFS-USA will coordinate and share your international travel with you. You will need to coordinate your own travel to the point of international departure. From there, your journey in Denmark will begin when you land, where you’ll be met by staff, volunteers and meet your fellow AFSers from around the world. Shortly after arrival, you will attend an arrival orientation and get a crash course on Danish culture, living with a host family, safety, and support structures. 

On the way to your host family you’ll be able to appreciate the beautiful landscape of Denmark, with its moors, lakes, farmlands, and forests. In the towns as you pass by you might see people riding their bicycles or sitting and chatting at a cafe.


Meeting your Danish Host Family

AFS students have lived all over Denmark; you might even experience the adventure of being placed in Greenland or the scenic Faroe Islands, north of Scotland. If you’re placed on the mainland of Denmark it will most likely be in a rural or suburban area. Towns are close together and there is an excellent public transportation system.

Families in Denmark are very close and most prefer to cook dinner at home together every night. Danes are very cosmopolitan in their attitudes and lifestyle. Most Danes are well educated so you can assume your host family will place a lot of importance on your education, as well. They’ll probably expect you to be independent and to take care of your homework and help out around the house on your own, like most kids do.


Settling into daily life

Teenage Life in Denmark

Teenagers in Denmark spend their time much like teens from anywhere else; they love meeting new people, spending time with friends, going to parties, hanging out at cafes, and going to the movies. Playing sports is also very popular, especially soccer. Many of the cities also have traffic-free walking streets, where kids like to hang out on weekends.

Food you’ll encounter

Danish food is diverse and has a wide variety of fresh produce, grains, and meats. Dinner is usually the main meal and typically a time for the whole family to gather and talk about their days. Once in a while Danish families will go out to eat at a restaurant, but this is a pretty rare treat. Danish favorites include pickled herring and salted black licorice. Other staples are roast pork, fish, beans, Brussels sprouts, rice pudding, potato soup, meatballs in curry sauce, and pastries.


Your High School in Denmark

There are two types of schools that you may be enrolled in. You’ll either be in first or second year of Gymnasium, which is a 3 year college prep school similar to high school, or Folkeskole, which is geared toward 6-16 year olds. School runs from August through June, with breaks in October and at Christmas and Easter. You’ll attend classes Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 3:00PM. Students usually have 5-6 mandatory subjects and 1 or 2 electives like a foreign language, sports, or physics. You’ll also have the opportunity to take Danish language classes throughout the year.

Danish schools and local community organizations also offer a bunch of extracurricular activities, like sports, music, crafts, drama, and scouting.

Available Scholarships

AFS-USA scholarships are made possible by the generosity of numerous donors who all have a deep connection with AFS and value intercultural exchanges as necessary for the promotion of peace and justice in the world. Upon submission, applications will be reviewed and matched with the most applicable scholarship, if available. All scholarships are partial, and scholarship award amounts will be determined based on program length. For additional funding resources, check out our Fundraising page. You can view all available national and local scholarships on our Scholarships page.

What's Included

  • 70+ years of experience delivering high-quality programs through a worldwide network of 50,000 dedicated volunteers
  • Accommodations with a vetted host family
  • Round-trip international airfare for the designated program dates
  • School enrollment fees
  • Worldwide, 24-hour emergency assistance
  • Access to an in-country support team and network, as well as our Participant Support Department based here in the U.S.
  • Orientations and intercultural education before and during your program
  • International secondary medical travel coverage
  • Visa support and guidance

Inclusion in a worldwide returnee and alumni network of over 1,000,000 people

Visa Info

Do I need a visa/residence permit for Denmark? YES. Residence Permit
How do I apply for the visa? (By mail, In-person, In host country) In-person
Visa/Residence Permit Process Difficulty Level (Easy, Average, Complex) Average
Estimated Visa/Residence Permit Expenses
($ – $$$)
Frequently Asked Visa Questions Visit our general visa FAQ page for more information.

Returning Home

“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one.
When you return home from high school in Denmark, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and developed the confidence and resilience to accomplish anything you set out to do.
That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Second language fluency, intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
It’s not just an adventure abroad; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in Denmark.

In fact, our alumni reviews have made AFS one of the top-rated organizations in the study abroad industry.